Top 10 Best Bike Rides
The UK has a strong presence in international mountain biking competitions, and this can be partly attributed to the rich offering of XC trails dotted around the British countryside.
Choosing the top ten XC routes in the UK is a contentious task, so this list should not be taken as the final word on the matter. We have looked at the popularity of these routes as rated by riders who have reviewed them online.
Whether you have just recently bought your first mountain bike, or are a seasoned rider, there are plenty of trails to explore in the UK.
Number 1: Ardgarten Peninsula Circuit in North Scotland
This route is perfect for intermediate level riders and covers 32 km of the rugged and remote Ardgartan Peninsula. Most of the ride is on forest roads, with off road sections and a small amount of public road being incorporated. The route is best covered in a clockwise direction and should take three to four hours to complete.
Number 2: Balblair Black Trail in North Scotland
Covering 11.2km of trail including rock slabs, timber trails and challenging climbs, this route is more suited to expert lever mountain bikers.
Number 3: Ae Line Trail in South Scotland
This route starts near the village of Ae and covers a distance of 24km. The ride is considered to be difficult and probably better suited to more experienced riders. There is a lot of singletrack, some jumps, berms and sections that require some tree dodging.
Number 4: Ashton Hill Woods in South West England
This ride starts near Bristol and covers a network of trails for all abilities in a 150 acre area of compact woodland.
Number 5: Altura Trail in the Lake District
This 19km route has been purpose built and has all the bits packed in, with singletrack, jumps berms, corkscrews and more. This route is suitable for intermediate riders.
Number 6: Bedgebury XC Trail in South East England
If you like riding on twisty singletrack through woodlands than this route is for you. 13km long, almost all of it is on singletrack, apart from some short sections on forest roads.
Number 7: Black Craigs Trail in Kirroughtree, South Scotland
There is a choice of a 14km or 31km route, recommended for expert mountain bike enthusiasts. Features include singletrack, rocky technical sections and slabs.
Number 8: Blue Trail in Coed Llandegla Forest, North Wales
12km of gentle introduction to mountain bike riding for beginners near Wrexham in North Wales. There is some gradual climbing and gentle descending with a few humps to keep it interesting.
Number 9: Friston Forest Trails in Eastbourne, South East England
This 13km mountain bike route is suitable for intermediate riders, offering a good mix of climbs, drops, singletrack and man-made obstacles.
Number 10: The Monkey Trail at Cannock in the West Midlands
A 12km mountain bike trail for experienced riders, the route branched off the “Follow the Dog” trail at the same centre. It offers some challenging climbs and descents.
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